Wednesday, November 7, 2018

King James

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James Strang

On July 8, 1850, James Strang, leader of the break off group known as the Strangites, was crowned king of his group, complete with crown and robes. Where did the crown and robes come from?
a.                  From an old theatrical props trunk
b.                  On loan from the King of England
c.                   On loan from King Follet’s family
d.                  On loan from a local museum
Yesterday’s answer:
C   Through musical presentations
Another finding method dating from the earliest days of missionary work in Italy centered on musical presentations, which were used to improve public perceptions about the Church and to create an opening for religious dialogue. One of the earliest examples of this approach was the appearance on national TV of 107 missionaries who had gathered for a mission conference in Florence on December 23-25, 1966. They spent Christmas Eve singing carols in the city center “with the intent . . . to spread in song the Christmas spirit through a city which had recently been ravaged by floods.” The group assembled at the main cathedral, the Duomo, and began singing Christmas carols and Mormon songs in English and Italian. Their singing attracted the attention of a BBC television crew in Florence to cover the Pope’s visit later that evening. The BBC director requested that the group sing at Piazza Santa Croce to provide background music for the Pope’s appearance at 9:00 P.M. It turned out that the Pope was an hour late. The missionaries seized this opportunity and sang for the large throngs who paid rapt attention while the TV crew trained their lights on the Mormon choir and filmed the impromptu concert, including a rendition of “Silent Night” in Italian. Several missionaries were interviewed by TV reporters in Italian about their activities in Italy. According to two elders, “It was a huge success. We succeeded in getting the Italians near us to sing along.” The next day, images of the missionaries singing were broadcast over national television as were some of the interview segments. This gave “an unexpected boost” to spreading the gospel in Italy. With a touch of missionary hyperbole, reflecting the enthusiasm engendered by a sudden burst of public exposure after laboring in virtual anonymity, President Duns commented: “Florence will never be the same after tonight.”

James A. Toronto, The “Wild West” of Missionary Work” Reopening the Italian Mission, 1965-71, Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2014, 43-44.

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